You might be one of those lucky ones to have a convection setting in the oven you use, but still you might be wondering if this cooking method is too different compared to a regular household oven. Wondering if you could bake or cook in this oven or there might be some occasion when this is skipped? Or preferred to the normal oven? What is convection, how it is used and not used, how much energy they require among other appliances too.
What does convection mean?
To put this in a simple way, a convection oven is smaller, has a fan and also an exhaust system installed, which are items not incorporated in regular ovens. Both the fan and exhaust system release hot air evenly all around and make it circulate everywhere near food. This same hot air perfectly and evenly circulates above the food so the meal is cooked faster and better from every angle, compared to a regular oven.
Why do we need to use convection ovens more?
First of all, the cooking time for a convection oven is faster because the hot air is evenly in touch with the food, and not just around it, so you save 25% of the cooking time needed. Secondly, the food is cooked even all through. The heat inside is equally distributed in that space, compared to a single hot spot focus in regular ovens; the heat inside this convection oven is the same in every part. Thirdly, with regular ovens the food could end up being moister after baking and resembles more a steamed meal rather than baked. With convection ovens, the food does not get as moist and shows a better, deeper, brown color since the atmosphere inside during cooking is dryer. Last, but not least, there is the ENERGY SAVING factor. Think of it, if the heat needed is well-closed inside, if the cooking is faster and more even from every angle, the end result in general will be energy saved due to less cooking time.
Is a convection oven more efficient than a regular household oven? Or other electric appliances?
For cooking, people toast, bake, roast, broil and other methods involving heat for preparing food. A convection oven can get a good amount of food squeezed inside, the time needed for heating up is short and this oven can fit in food amount enough for 1 or 2 people, i.e., half batches of food.
From a technical point of view, both regular ovens and convection ovens are excellent for food preparing and using heat to cook; the main difference is in the energy amount drawn from the electricity socket. A regular oven would need 2,500-5,000 watts (depending on the model and its age), the temperature is 350° F and the energy is 2 kWh, for approximately cooking time of an hour. A convection oven of 1,200-watt has 450°F degrees needed and cooking time of approximately 50 minutes, with just 0.9 kWh. Regular ovens have the center of heat positioned at the bottom mainly for moist heat, whereas convection ovens have their heat rotate evenly around. For example, a convection oven would cook a regular casserole in 45 minutes and 325°, and plain ovens would require 350°F, obviously being second to the convection oven. The aforementioned convection ovens save cooking time with their temperature being 20% less than the original recipe would suggest.
There is still a debate regarding convection ovens being superior to regular ovens, and a majority of people lean more to this. Convection ovens better retain both the heat and energy for longer periods of time, thus being the perfect choice for less cooking time needed and energy drawn. The end result is food cooked perfectly in a shorter period of time. Place the food anywhere you want and in any kind of pan, it will be baked well. Take any recipe you need and reduce the energy needed by 20% of cooking time—that is the benefit of a convection oven. Heat is transmitted with electromagnetic waves and convection ovens transmit heat with conduction. For even more efficient use, you can also lower the recommended temperature by 25° Fahrenheit; check the food early to save even more time and energy, and cook it inside on trays or pans with low sides.
Convection ovens require more wattage, reaching up to 1,800 for a convection toaster (big enough for baking one chicken), however this is compensated with a meal prepared that saves time by 33%. These ovens are probably not the best choice for warming up a slice of toast for one person, but If you are in need of a 1,200-watt toaster, try to opt better for a regular toaster instead, if you can afford several appliances.
A toaster oven saves more energy than a regular oven; still, this is not the best eco-friendly appliance. A regular slow cooker reaches the optimum energy with 200-250 watts and electricity of 0.7 kWh, thus being the winner over 50 minutes over both a toaster oven and regular oven. If we compare this to microwaves, we will see that they use just a small part of the energy otherwise needed for toasters and slow cookers, although food prepared in them is afterwards of no great nutritional value. Induction cooktops need 90% of the energy used, a gas burner would use 55%. Sun ovens use 75% less than a regular oven. Self-cleaning ovens have amazing insulation and because of this, they save energy well too. Slow cookers, even though slower, still use up less energy than a regular oven or stove.
In general, convection ovens are preferred more by many restaurants and catering industries and cooking facilities as well. Lately, this type of oven is becoming popular among individuals and households who want to save energy and cooking time.